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YU Fall Sports Round Up

You know fall is almost over when the weather gets too cold to play outside and sports move indoors. With both the YU men’s and women’s basketball teams beginning their seasons, fall is assuredly over. This past fall, the YU teams competed in the Hudson Valley and Skyline Conferences. Beginning with preseason in August, the teams trained hard for an intense few months of play, some not finishing their seasons until late November due to Super-storm Sandy. The fall season is difficult for YU athletes, as it is interrupted by a month off for the chaggim. Yet all the teams managed to maintain fitness throughout the chaggim break and through Sandy, finishing strong in their respective conferences.

The women’s tennis team finished 4-6 overall, and Julia Shrier (SCW ’13) told The Commentator, “We are walking away with quite a few winning matches this season, which we are very proud of. But more importantly, we are walking away with an immense feeling of personal satisfaction and camaraderie.” Shrier continued, “I think everyone really stepped up their game this season, both in team spirit and in honing tennis skills, and I am incredibly proud to be part of such a wonderful group of athletes.” The team won their first and last matches 6-3, and looks forward to a great spring season. Noted Athletic Director Joe Bednarsh said about the spring season: “I’m looking forward to more great results similar to the past two years during which they went unbeaten in spring play.”

The women’s volleyball team opened their season with a 3-0 win against Medgar Evers, and junior Shira Genauer made it onto the HVWAC’s All-Conference team and the Skyline Conference’s second-team. However, the team lost many talented players last year, and this season was a growing year. “Every few years each team goes through a transition season and this was that time for us,” said Captain Moriah Green (SCW ‘13) The team still played with spirit, and Bednarsh mentioned some highlights from watching the team play, such as “hard hitting, diving on the floor to get the ball, great blocking, and the serving aces.” With only two starters graduating, Bednarsh has high hopes for this team next year. Green agrees, stating, “For the next few years we will only get stronger and closer as a team.”

The women’s soccer team lost four seniors last year, but gained a large squad of rookies who brought energy and skill to the field. “Women’s soccer was perhaps the team that improved the most from last season,” commented Bednarsh. Bednarsh noted that the team improved both offensively and defensively, which showed in the teams’ statistical improvement in saves and shots, jumping from 4.2 shots per game to 9.6. “They were energetic, determined, and certainly an exciting team to watch.“ Senior captain Meira Lerner (SCW ’13) commented, “Through statistic comparisons and a narrow 1-0 loss in the Hudson Valley Women's Athletic Conference semi-finals, I am proud to say that the Lady Macs had one of their most successful seasons yet! As such a united force on and off the field, this team will only continue to experience more success in the seasons to come.”

The men’s soccer team had one of the most successful seasons in the teams’ history, winning their first conference game in five years and quadrupling the amount of goals scored. Additionally, Sophomore Leon Aboudi made it into an article in Mainline Media News about balancing both his soccer and Judaism at YU and was selected for the Skyline second-team. “Next season will be even better,” noted captain Jack Strigtzler (YC ’14). “With a new coach and new talent, the team has only one direction to go: forward.” Bednarsh explained that both soccer teams are pushing to recruit more for next season and therefore expect improved and more competitive squads for both the boys’ and girls’ teams. One setback for both the girls’ and boys’ soccer teams was losing their coach in the middle of the season. However, the interim head coaches of both teams pulled through and both teams finished strong.

The men’s cross-country team also had coaching changes. “It’s always difficult to compete for a new coach or compete using a new system, but our student-athletes, as they always do, rose to the challenge,” explained Bednarsh. A new coach was just one of many difficulties this team faced, as captain Oliver Sax (YC ’13) noted: “Last season's cross-country efforts seemed impossible to reproduce going into this season.” However, “This pessimism did not last long, for we were granted with a great coach in Brendan Donoghue and a superb supporting cast of new runners on race day.” The team had a record breaking season, winning the Hudson Valley Championship for the third year in a row and a coming in third in the Skyline Championship. “The 2012 cross-country men's team's success can be attributed to the dedication and strong will of the entire team. Running is part of our genetic makeup, not just a sport featured seasonally,” asserted Sax. The women’s cross-country came in second place at the Hunter Invitational, and captain Rivky Jacobov finished ninth at the Hudson Valley Championships with a time of 23:33. Bednarsh expressed optimism for both cross-country teams, as they have the majority of their runners returning, and expects them to again compete for conference championships.

Now, YU sports continues with men’s basketball (currently 5-6), women’s basketball (currently 3-9), men’s and women’s fencing, and men’s wrestling. Some fall teams will return for spring competition, so look out for more impressive statistics and seasons from these teams in the months to come.